Beans & Lentils/ Gluten Free/ Pork/ Soups & Stews

Weeknight Cassoulet

My lazy weekend turned out to have a cause…a cold was coming on.  I woke up Sunday not quite right, and I have gone downhill from there.  Working from home has a lot of perks, but when you’re sick, it’s just downright evil.  It took everything I had to keep myself from crawling back into bed. Eventually, I gave up and took a two hour nap while my daughter was still away.
 Upon waking up, I felt even worse.  Not a good sign.  I still had to buy groceries, a dinner to make, and daughter to pick up from daycare.  I waved my white flag.  Waving that flag made me hungry though.  I am never sure, is it ‘starve a cold, feed a fever’ or the reverse ‘starve a fever, feed a cold?’

Since the weather today has been sunny, overcast, rainy, snowy, windy and hailing, soup seemed like something I should and probably could make.  Turns out could was an overstatement.  I was not up to the task. I asked Xavier if he was up for cooking. He agreed and to keep him protected,   I donned a doctor’s mask to keep my germs to myself (in a very Michelle/sarcastic move.) He came over, laughed/rolled his eyes at me in my mask, rolled up his proverbial sleeves and helped me in the kitchen.  He did the majority of the prep work and cooking.  I think I sliced an onion, poured the wine (the most important part), and added the salt and pepper.  The rest was him. He did a great job. Thanks Xavier!

Dinner was amazing.  I am not saying this because it was my recipe or because my handsome friend made my recipe for me.  It was the perfect blend of meats, seasonings, and goodies.  The classic French cassoulet slow cooks for hours.  I have no problem cooking a dish that takes hours, but today was not that day.  I wanted the flavors of a cassoulet in a fraction of the time.  Canned beans replaced dried beans, bringing it to a boil versus slow cooking made this dish from prep to serving in less than an hour.  It was hearty and satisfying. Enjoy.

 

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Cooking the bacon

 

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Grating the garlic

 

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Reducing the broth

 

Weeknight Cassoulet

Author: Michelle De La Cerda
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Ingredients

  • 4 thick cut pork chops; sliced off the bone , bones reserved
  • 3-15 oz cans Great Northern beans; drained and rinsed
  • 2 carrots; diced
  • ½ large onion; diced
  • 2 celery stalks; diced
  • 4 cloves garlic; minced/grated
  • 6 slices bacon; cut into pieces
  • 1-14 oz package smoked sausage; halved & diced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1-48 oz can chicken broth
  • 1-28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil; if needed

Instructions

  1. Prep all vegetables and set them aside in a bowl. 
  2. Remove the bones from the pork chops, trim off major chunks of fat and slice the pork chop into strips. 
  3. Discard the fat, but reserve the bones for cooking. 
  4. Slice or use kitchen shears to cut bacon into bite size pieces.
  5. Open, drain, and rinse the beans and set them aside. 
  6. Open all other cans, measure the wine out, and have the seasonings ready to go.
  7. In a Dutch oven or a stock pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat.
  8. As the fat begins to render and the bacon is about half cooked, add the celery, onions, and carrots. 
  9. Continue to cook for two-three minutes. 
  10. Add the garlic and the sliced pork chops and cook another three minutes. 
  11. If the bacon did not render a lot of fat, add a small amount of extra virgin olive oil.
  12. Add the oregano and thyme, mix well, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Toss the pork chop bones into the pot. 
  14. Add the smoked sausage and cook for two minutes.
  15. Add the tomatoes, broth, and wine. 
  16. Mix well and bring to a boil. 
  17. As the pot comes to a boil, a froth like substance may rise to the top, using a spoon and a small dish, remove that froth. 
  18. It may take several minutes of cooking to remove all the froth. 
  19. Continue to cook at a high simmer or low boil for about 20 minutes, allowing the liquid to reduce and thicken. 
  20. The last 5 minutes of cooking, add the canned beans.
  21. Before serving, discard the pork bones. 
  22. Enjoy!

Thank you for sharing!

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Laura @MotherWouldKnow
    March 5, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Michelle – I love this quick-and-easy version of cassoulet. I never make it because cassoulet requires so much planning, but this – I could definitely manage. As a matter of fact, with a foot of snow on the ground, I could definitely go for a bowl of this right now.

    • Reply
      Michelle
      March 6, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Laura, thank you. My French friend took me to task for this not being a true cassoulet. I said of course it is not, not in the time I took to make it. But it has wonderful flavor and I can enjoy a hearty bowl of it.

  • Reply
    Debra @ Bowl Me Over
    April 25, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Big bowl of love right there! This looks so delicious, great recipe – thank you!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      April 25, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      Thank you Debra…it’s so good. Not exactly authentic French, but, the spirit of French cookery.

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    April 25, 2015 at 6:21 am

    This sure is a comforting and warming bowl! I love that it can be whipped up so quickly! I’m sure this nourishes the belly. mind, and soul <3

    • Reply
      Michelle
      April 25, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      It’s hearty and sou-satisfying for sure.

  • Reply
    Florian @ContentednessCooking
    April 25, 2015 at 6:27 am

    Looks fantastic, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Ashley @ Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen
    April 25, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Pass me a chunk of that crusty bread – I want to dive right into a bowl of this!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      April 25, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      Oh the bread…yes, in that broth….yum

  • Reply
    pam (Sidewalk Shoes)
    April 25, 2015 at 7:13 am

    It’s turned chilly today and I could use some of this!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      April 25, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      It cooks quickly and is so tasty.

  • Reply
    Ali @ Home & Plate
    April 25, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Perfect for a rainy and cold day. This looks delicious and hardy. Yum.

    • Reply
      Michelle
      April 25, 2015 at 2:59 pm

      Thank you Ali, it defiantly perfect for a rainy day.

  • Reply
    Leia @ Eat It & Say Yum
    April 25, 2015 at 9:55 am

    That sounds delicious! I love all the different meats you have in there. Makes me think would husband would love it, too! 😉

    • Reply
      Michelle
      April 25, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      3 types of pork…can’t ever go wrong with that (unless you don’t eat pork. LOL)

  • Reply
    Beth (OMG! Yummy)
    April 25, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    As much as I love slow cooking, braising, and my big red Le Creuset pot, I still haven’t made cassoulet! This is inspiring Michelle!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      April 26, 2015 at 2:00 am

      Oh Beth, you need to use Big Red LC and make a cassoulet, I bet you’d make a fantastic traditional one.

  • Reply
    Abigail
    April 25, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    I have recently made cassoulet and it has become our family’s favorite as I made it several times already after that but I used sausages there instead. I bet the pork chops are awesome for this, too and may have to try it next time! Yum!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      April 26, 2015 at 2:00 am

      I love all sausage, I just decided to be over the top with pork. Enjoy.

  • Reply
    Nibbles By Nic
    April 26, 2015 at 5:10 am

    Not sure I can just save this one for weekends Michelle! It’s too yummy! Love this combo of flavors and one-pot cooking!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      April 26, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      It’s worth eating anytime.

  • Reply
    Denise
    November 3, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Despite my name, alas I don’t have any French blood. However, my dh has a drop or two…anyhoo I am doing my redneck version of your knock-off cassoulet and it is smelling delish! Can’t wait to taste it!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      November 3, 2015 at 10:39 pm

      Can’t wait to hear how it turned out.

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